Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free ‘Scream/Dream Bars’

May is Food Allergy Awareness Month in Canada and Sunday is Mother’s Day…this post aims to honour them both.

As a mother with two teenaged boys with multiple food allergies…Anaphylaxis Canada’s Youth Advisory Panel’s (YAP) 31 Tips for Parents – From Teens (click here) has encouraged me to learn more about what allergic youth of today need. To do so,  I have been visiting their site…Why Risk It?Where Real Life And Allergies Collide.

Why Risk It? is a great site for allergic youth to learn more about how their peers with food allergies are living/coping/dealing with their food allergies through real life stories of their own.

With two teenaged boys with multiple food allergies in the house…forever on the look-out for something tasty to eat…I was curious to check out the recipes on the Why Risk It? Blog.

I must say…I was a bit disappointed to find only 3 recipes. Out of the 3 recipes, only one stood out…I love a recipe with a good story.

The post was written by Arianne. Due to Arianne’s peanut/tree nut allergies and her brother’s egg allergies…Halloween treats were off limits at her house. Lucky for Arianne and her brother, her mother learned to make special allergen friendly Halloween treats, such as Scream Bars, for her and her brother to enjoy so they would not feel left out.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free 'Scream Bars'

Arianne states, “To this day, I still use her recipes and praise her every second that I get for helping me and my brother to truly feel the Halloween spirit.”

Click here for the original story and recipe.

I have adapted Arianne’s, already egg and peanut/tree nut free recipe, to be dairy free to accommodate my eldest son’s dairy allergy.

Adaptions and Recommendations:

1) Replace the 1/2 cup butter with Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks or Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread for a soy free version.
2) Cream the room temperature Earth Balance before adding the brown sugar…cream them together before adding the flour.
3)  Measure all the dry ingredients, excluding the coconut and rice krispies, in a large bowl.
4)  I used Adrianne’s 2 egg replacement: I measured 4 tbsp. of warm water in a little dish…just before I was to add it to the mixed dry ingredients, I added the 1 tbsp. of baking powder. I stirred it all together while it fizzed then quickly added it to the dry ingredients to combine. I then added the coconut and rice krispies.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Dream Bars

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free 'Dream Bars'

A sweet, crunchy, decadent treat!

Matthew found them…“Nice and crunchy with a powerful chocolatey taste.”

As Mother’s Day is this Sunday…I would like to take the time to thank my mother for encouraging me to help in the kitchen…she gave me the skills I needed to be creative in the kitchen, instilled in me a love for good ‘real’ food, and sent me off into the world with a pleather of great recipes…many of which I have adapted to share with my family today.

As a mother myself…I hope I can do the same for my boys.

On that note, I would like to wish all the mother’s out there with children, family members and/or friends with food allergies…here’s to you and all that you do…

HAPPY MOTHER”S DAY!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free ‘British Flapjacks’

My interest in Flapjacks stemmed from this great article that I read in the March 2010 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine titled, “bar none When is a flapjack not a pancake? When it is a delicious, buttery British cookie”, by Molly Wizenberg.

A pan of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Flapjacks

I have to say, Molly’s article made me laugh. It made me recall my own memories of my trip to Europe with my best friend, at the age of 19.  Michelle and I visited my Scottish relatives and over-indulged in all their tasty delicacies. Thank goodness for Pepto Bismol! More importantly, it reminded me of an oatmeal cookie.

My Aunt Mary, in Scotland, is famous for her Oatmeal Cookies…could this have been a Flapjack? I quickly emailed my cousin who contacted his mother…I had the recipe the very same day.

My Aunt Mary’s Oatmeal Cookie recipe turned out to be more of a cookie than a ‘flapjack square’. I tried it all the same and fell in love with the memory. Click here for my post on my adapted recipe for my Aunt Mary’s Oatmeal Cookie recipe.

I had to adapt a batch of Molly’s British Flapjack recipe to compare…I replaced the butter with Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks or for a soy free version use Earth Balance Soy Free Natural Buttery Spread.

A selection of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Flapjacks

I love Molly’s description of her experience eating her first British Flapjack

“You take a bite, and it tastes good, if a little wholesome. But you keep chewing, and in a second or two, the flavor opens up threefold, big and toasty and rich, and your salivary glands start going, and you think, This is delicious. I don’t know what this thing is, but I’m going to need another.”

Molly is ‘bang on’! Both my Aunt Mary’s Oatmeal Cookie and Molly’s British Flapjack have that rich, toasty oat flavour that makes your mouth water. Whereas, the cookie is, well, more like a cookie…the flapjack has a slightly sweeter, candy like chew to it.

A Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Flapjack and Oatmeal 'Flapjack' Cookie

Frankly, both are yummy and terribly addictive!

Enjoy!

Click here for the Molly’s original article and here for her original recipe.

Tip 1:  Molly’s British Flapjacks were a bit difficult to remove from the pan…might want to remove them soon after they have cooled and store in another container. Although, I did enjoy nibbling on all the bits stuck to the pan!

Tip 2: I would love to try both my Aunt Mary’s Oatmeal Cookie and Molly’s British Flapjack using canola oil instead of Earth Balance.

Tip 3:  Oat flour would make for an even ‘oatier’ taste and texture in my Aunt Mary’s Oatmeal Cookie.

Tip 4: Both my Aunt Mary’s Oatmeal Cookie and Molly’s British Flapjack could be gluten-free using gluten-free oats, flour or oat flour.

Tip 5:  Lyle’s Golden Syrup is a British staple…many would say it is irreplaceable in both my Aunt Mary’s Oatmeal Cookies and in Molly’s British Flapjacks.

Enjoying the March Break 2013…With Food Allergies

This March Break 2013, our family is staying close to home…no big trips like our first trip away as a family in years to Stowe, Vermont last year. Click here to read all about skiing trip and our ‘little cabin in the woods’.

So far the boys have enjoyed late nights, sleeping in, playing road hockey with their neighbourhood friends and just hanging out with some of their friends…but the highlight so far has been the opportunity to play some stick and puck with their father...arranged by my husband’s hockey team.

Michael and Matthew playing some stick and puck witht their father

All the hockey league players could bring their kids and skate around with a stick and puck.

Michael even played with the ‘big guys’…full equipment required.

Michael and his father after playing a game of pick up hockey with the guys

A game of pick-up hockey was arranged afterwards…short a few players, Michael subbed in. He was ecstatic to say the least!

Never knowing if food will be around…I made sure to bring some juice boxes, Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Rice Krispie Squares and Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Wholewheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Matthew made the suggestion, “Can we make Waffles for lunch?”

Matthew enjoyed helping to make a batch of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Waffles and bacon for lunch the other day…the notion of ‘waffles for lunch’ quickly aroused Michael from his sleep.

Hoping to get to see the movie, ‘Oz’…Matthew really wants to see it.

Our family avoids food issue sat movies by just not having any at all. I figure going to the movies is all about experiencing the movie up on a big screen…not about the food. I know others would make the claim that the ‘whole experience’ of going to the movies includes the food…that may be so, but unfortunately, such is not the case in ‘our world of food allergies’.

My other hope is to take the entire family out for dinner…not as easy as one thinks. I have my eldest son’s food allergies to consider…dairy, egg, beef, lamb, sesame, fish, shellfish, peanut/tree nuts, mustard and raspberry.

I am not having much luck…feeling very down-hearted.

If anyone in Ontario has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate hearing about your experiences…good or bad.

P.S.  I am also enjoying the sleeping in…hence, the later posting of my blogs. 🙂

My Secret Sister Gift Arrived!

Yesterday was a very beautiful day.

I woke up in an incredibly ‘happy’ mood…I had this feeling that ‘today’ was going to be ‘the day’ that my Secret Sister Gift, that Carla @ My 1/2 Dozen Daily hosted, would arrive!

Michael spilling his morning Dairy Free Hot Chocolate all over the kitchen table and floor two minutes before he had to leave for school, crazy drivers at the local grocery store, and even burning my first batch of Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Rice Krispie Squares, using the last of my Earth Balance Vegan Sticks which meant walking to the grocery store in the baking heat of the day to purchase another box…could not damper my enthusiasm for the day!

Upon my second attempt at melting the Earth Balance and marshmallows the doorbell rang. There, sitting on my front porch, was the gift I had been waiting for…

My Secret Sister Gift on my front step

my Secret Sister Gift!

Unable to leave my post at the stove for fear of burning a second batch…I placed my Secret Sister Gift on a chair and quickly finished making the Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Rice Krispies.

Upon finishing, my cell phone alerted me to a text…it was Michael…”It’s really hot out can you pick us up?”

As you know, Michael suffers from eczema…heat is a major trigger for him…as it was 30 C without the humidity factor, he was wearing his school uniform with pants carrying a heavy backpack and the fact he had papers to sort and deliver with his brother after school to deliver in this heat wave…

I left the Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Rice Krispie Squares to cool with my Secret Sister Gift!

Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Rice Krispie Squares cooling by my unopened Secret Sister Gift

First thing Michael said to me upon entering the car, “So…did you get it?” …”Yup!”, I answered smiling.

Now that both boys were home…my Secret Sister Gift was ready to be opened!

Wow! “Red wrapping paper with white polka dots!” Michael exclaimed, “No way!”…”How did you know?”

Inside my Secret Sister Box

I had told the boys to expect my Secret Sister Gift to arrive yesterday and there would be gifts wrapped in red wrapping paper with white polka dots…I must say…they were very impressed with my ‘Super Mom’ skills.

To be honest…I did a little sleuthing…put two and two together…and went on a hunch.

A lovely letter revealing the identity of my Secret SisterMutant Supermodel…was tucked inside.

However, Matthew was more interested in the opening of the gifts…the boys were each glad to help.

Secret Sister gifts revealed

A beautiful journal to write in, a lovely tea box and tea mug, Veg News magazine (a magazine I love to ‘treat’ myself too), and a gorgeous handmade ‘Nubby Scrubby’ that matches my kitchen!

Handmade 'Nubby Scrubby' that matches my kitchen

Seriously, do I have to use it as a cloth…it seems too pretty!

Of course, this gift was not in the picture as I had to put it on right away!

Beautiful apron from my Secret Sister

I LOVE it! How did you know I live in my kitchen…in an apron!

Thank you, thank you, thank you Mutant Supermodel so much for all the lovely gifts and kind words in your letter! I appreciate the time, effort and thoughtfulness of your gifts.

Mutant Supermodel ended her letter to me by writing… HAVE A BEAUTIFUL DAY!

Sipping my tea in my new tea mug and apron from my Secret Sister

Sipping my tea, in my new apron, from my new tea mug…it truly was…thank you!

P.S. Mutant Supermodel became a recent subscriber to my blog, wrote some lovely comments on some of my posts so I checked out her blog and came upon this…click here.…go figure, my hunch turned out!

P.P.S. Strangely enough…I completed a circle of Secret Sisters…click here to see what I mean!

P.P.P.S. This Sunday May 27, 2012 is the big day…Andy and I will be running in Whitby’s 1/2 Marathon starting at 7 a.m.! My first…Andy’s third…should be a great day!

Our Neighbourhood Earth Day Clean Up Event: Allergy Friendly Style, 2012

Happy Earth Day!

budding flowers

Last week, my neighbour, Joanna, approached me with the idea of a ‘Neighbourhood Clean Up’ for Earth Day.

I thought it sounded like a great idea!

She hoped that I could help spread the word to some of the families in the neighbourhood and I offered to provide an Allergy Friendly snack for the end of the walk.

It was a little short notice, but I gave it a whirl.

I managed to recruit my neighbourhood friend, Leslie her three kids and her daughter’s friend.

Earth Day, April 22, 2012: at 2:15 p.m.our little group of ‘helpers’ gathered outside my home. Joanna passed out gloves, garbage bags (donated by her local grocery store), and set some rules.

Joanna handing out gloves and garbage bags

All sharp objects were to be left for an adult to pick up and be placed in the blue bucket. All recyclable bottles were to be placed in the blue recyclable bag that she would also be carrying.

We all donned our colourful gloves, grabbed a bag and set off on our very first Earth Day Neighbourhood Clean Up Adventure!

garbage littering our earth

An assortment of items were collected: a hanger, cushion, pile of magazines, juice boxes, pop cans, plastic bottles, candy wrappers, styrofoam, perfume, the contents of student’s wallet from 2007-2008, a T-shirt, unopened Kool-Aid and chewy bars, fast food containers, coffee cups, lids, plastic bags and even a $20.00 bill!

$20.00 bill found on our Earth Day Clean Up

A little dirty but money all the same!

When the crew began to tire, Leslie brought out her cut up watermelon. Joanna provided wipes to clean our hands and we all enjoyed slices of thirst quenching watermelon.

Enjoying some watermelon on our Earth Day Clean Up

I was pleasantly surprised at the positive feedback we received as we walked the streets. One man poked his head over his fence to thank us…he wondered what group we were with. Another gentleman stopped to inform us that his family did a clean up a couple of years ago. He was pleased to see other families pitching in to beautify the community.

All along the way, I greeted fellow passersby with a “Happy Earth Day!”

The kids were surprised at all the garbage they were finding. “I didn’t think Whitby had so much garbage!” and “Why don’t people just put garbage in the garbage can?” were just some of the comments I overheard the kids discussing.

At the end of our walk, we gathered together, cleaned our hands once again with the wipes and happily dug into my Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Rice Krispie Squares.

Digging in to Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Rice Krispie Treats

Joanna was very keen to gather feedback from the kids…they were able to give her some positive tips that she will utilize when she plans Earth Day Neighbourhood Clean Up 2013!

Joanna loaded down with all the garbage we collected on our Earth Day Clean Up

Overall, our group collected 9 bags of garbage (2 of which we had to dispose of along the way due to the heavy wet magazines), one bag of recyclable and a collection of sharp objects, mostly broken glass.

Our Earth Day Neighbourhood Clean Up Crew for 2012

I declare our Earth Day Neighbourhood Clean Up to be a success! I think the kids enjoyed their experience of cleaning up their neighbourhood with their friends.

It has made us all more conscious about how we dispose of our ‘garbage’!

A big thank you goes out to Joanna, our Earth Day Neighbourhood Clean Up creator and to all those that came out to help with her Earth Day endeavor!

I think ‘Mother Nature’ would approve!

Tip 1: Group activites inevitably involve food. When your child has food allergies,  taking an active role in the snacks is always my number one priority. I felt very comfortable having Leslie in charge of bringing cut up watermelon. Leslie takes great care when she prepares anything that my boys will be eating…she understands cross-contamination issues. She has a nephew with an egg allergy. Her nephew is one lucky boy…Leslie always makes sure that there is something ‘special’ for him to enjoy at all family gatherings.

I am also very lucky to have Leslie as my neighbour and friend! She is definitely someone who ‘gets it’!

Tip 2: Had there been other families involved that may not be familiar with food allergies and all it entails, I would have had them bring something like juice boxes, bananas or Premium Plus crackers in the individual snack packs. As this was just meant to be a light snack, and not meant to be the highlight of the event, keeping food items simple was key.

Dairy Free Valentine’s Day Rice Krispie Hearts

Gimbal's Cherry Lovers candy in a pretty paper cupcake cup on a valentine's day napkinDairy Free Rice Krispie Treats and dairy and peanut/tree nut free chocolate are two of my boys’ favourites. Therefore, it made sense to me to incorporate the two into something special for Valentine’s Day.

Happy Valentine’s Day Boys!

dairy free rice krisipie hearts in a valentine box

A fun treat to create as an activity together in the kitchen or to make as a surprise!

I can tell you…when I first made these…my boys were definitely surprised!

“Wow! Is that chocolate on top?” Quickly followed up by Michael with…”What did you do with the extra bits left over?”

“Rolled them into balls and dipped them in melted chocolate…what else!”, I replied.

You should have seen Michael’s eyes widen in excitement!

Dairy Free Rice Krispie Hearts

Make a batch of Dairy Free Rice Krispie Treats.
Let them set for about 5-10 minutes.
Using a heart cookie cutter, cut out your hearts in the Rice Krispie Treats.

Dairy free rice krispie treats being cut into hearts with cookie cutter

Place hearts on a large cooling rack.
Meanwhile, heat a small amount of water in a saucepan and let simmer.
Place a heat proof bowl on top of simmering water and add Enjoy Life chocolate chips. (use a double boiler if you have one)
Stir chocolate chips until they are melted.
Using a pastry brush or small spatula, drizzle melted chocolate across the Dairy Free Rice Krispie Hearts.

dairy free rice krispie hearts drizzled in melted enjoy life chocolate chips

Dairy Free Rice Krispie Chocolate Balls

Roll leftover Dairy Free Rice Krispie Heart bits into small balls.

dairy free rice krispie heart leftover bits rolled into ballsUsing a pastry brush, brush melted chocolate over the balls and rest on plate to cool.

brushing dairy free rice krispie ball in melted enjoy life chocolate chipsPlace a Gimbal’s Cherry Lovers candy on top to finish it off.

dairy free rice krispie ball covered in melted enjoy life chocolate chips and topped with a Gimbal's Cherry Lovers candy

Package up your treats in a pretty bag!

dairy free rice krispie hearts drizzled in melted enjoy life chocolate chips in a gift bag

In a valentine shaped tin surrounded by Gimbal’s Cherry Lovers candy.

dairy free rice krispie balls covered in melted enjoy life chocolate chips topped and surrounded with Gimbal's Cherry Lovers candy in a heart shaped box

Above all…have fun and enjoy!

enjoying a dairy free rice krispie ball covered in melted enjoy life chocolate chips

Happy Valentine’s Day!

discovered gluten free rice krispies by kellog's at the grocery store today

Update: Discovered Gluten Free Rice Krispies by Kellog’s at the grocery store today!

Our Superbowl 2012 Allergen Free Party

The Superbowl is a perfect excuse to have a party!

superbowl party 2012

With my husband off to an all ‘boys’ Superbowl bash…I thought it would be fun to have our own Superbowl bash with my boys and their friends. With a twist…as hostess I would cater it as an allergen free feast!

A few munchies to start:

Dairy Free Onion Dip with Ruffles Potato Chips, Homemade Pita Chips recipe by Giada de Laurentiis,  Veggies and Spicy Edamame Dip  by Trisha Yearwood from the Toronto Star and Hot Air Popcorn. (I spray the popcorn with Canola Oil and sprinkle with freshly cracked Sea Salt)

The Spicy Edamame Dip is the first dip I made for Michael…he loved it!

Superbowl party munchies

Followed by the main course:

Allergen Friendly Chicken Wings, Slow-Cooker Sweet and Sour Sticky Ribs, Homemade French Fries and French Stick.

Superbowl party 2012 dinner

Dessert was something special!

With Valentines Day just around the corner, I thought I would treat the boys with something decadent…something chocolatey!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Heart Brownies and Brownie Pops!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Decadent Brownie Pops and Hearts

Half the hearts are Iced in Chocolate and the other half are iced with a Dairy Free Chocolate Icing and drizzled with chocolate.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Decadent Brownie Hearts

I just used heart-shaped cookie cutters to cut out the brownies. First, I cut some Brownies without the Chocolate Icing.

cutting out heart shaped brownies I brushed them with melted Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips and dusted with a little Icing Sugar.

Heart shaped dairy, egg, soy, and peanut/tree nut free brownies spread with melted enjoy life chocolate chips and dusted with icing sugar

I then iced the rest of the Brownies, cut out my heart shapes, drizzled with the melted chocolate and dusted with icing sugar.

heart shaped dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free brownies iced and drizzled with melted enjoy life chocolate chips and dusted with icing sugar

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Decadent Brownie Pops

For the Brownie Pops, I simply mixed together all the scraps of Brownies left over from cutting out the hearts. Rolled them into little balls and put them in the refrigerator to firm. I then stuck a cookie stick into the Brownie Ball and brushed them with melted Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips.

brushing dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free brownie pops with melted enjoy life chocolate chips

The finishing touch…topping each with a Gimbal’s Cherry Lovers heart-shaped candy.

dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free brownie pops

Did you know that Gimbal’s candies are free of 8 major food allergens: Peanut/tree Nut, Dairy, Egg, Gluten, Soy, Fish and Shellfish. I happened to stumble upon a jar at HomeSense…perfect for Valentine’s Day!

The Half Time show did not appeal to the boys. They took the opportunity to emerge from the ‘man cave’ and devour the Brownies…I was surprised the boys had any room left for dessert.

As Michael’s friend Chris simply put it, “There is always room for dessert!”

I packaged up a Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Decadent Brownie Pop to take home for Matthew’s friend’s sister…she loves my Brownies!

dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free decadent brownie pop wrapped up to take home

Tip: Plenty of leftovers for dinner tonight…perfect! I love it when I can get two meals out of one!

P.S. Carla @ My 1/2 Dozen Daily presented her Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Bread. Love that she uses the Bread Machine to make her dough! I will definitely have to try her recipe and method for her loaves of fresh bread.

P.P.S. My update on Week 1 of my Decluttering my Personal Space will be up on Wednesday. Superbowl Party preparations took a little more time than I had anticipated.

There just is not enough time in the day! lol

Dairy, Egg and Soy Free Turkey Pot Pie

Dairy, Egg, and Soy Free Turkey Pot Pie is the perfect solution for leftover turkey in the freezer.

Dairy,Egg, Soy Free Turkey Pot Pie

Cleaning out the freezer is always an adventure…one never quite knows what one will discover in their travels!

This week has been all about cleaning, decluttering, trying to use what I have already in the freezer and fridge and spending less. I am inspired by Carla @ My 1/2 Dozen Daily. She is on Day 19 of her ‘No Spend for a Month Challenge’.

I decided to buckle down and tackle a week…I think I did quite good. I didn’t spend anything on Monday and Tuesday, did a big essential shop on Wednesday and picked up a few things on Thursday and today will also be a no spend day…going skating with Matthew’s class this afternoon.

All week we have eaten meals from the fridge and freezer combined. I even have meals set for tonight, Pizza Night with sauce from the freezer. Saturday and Sunday night’s dinners are also from the freezer…Lambs Shanks for Andy and I, Ribs for the boys and then Spaghetti with Meatballs for Sunday.

I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge…can you beleive I still have a few more meals left for next week…Dairy,Beef and Egg Free Cabbage Rolls and Dairy and Egg Free Pierogies are waiting to be devoured!

I have always wanted to make a Dairy, Egg and Soy Free Turkey Pot Pie. On a cold day, it feels like the perfect comfort food.

I checked out the fridge and used vegetables that I had on hand: carrots, celery, a few mushrooms, and peas in the freezer.I already had potatoes and garlic. I also had some chicken stock leftover from the weekend that needed finishing up…perfect.

For dessert, I found frozen Dairy,Egg and Soy,and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Butter Tarts and Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Brownies. A yummy discovery!

Dairy,Egg, and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Brownies and Dairy,Egg,Soy, Peanut/Tree Nut Free Butter Tarts on a plate

I adapted a Turkey Pot Pie recipe I found from one of my favourite resources online…Canadian Living. I love the simple sliced potatoes on the top…a nice crispy topping without all the fuss.

Dairy, Egg and Soy Free Turkey Pot Pie

1 onion finely chopped
2 celery stalks finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
3 cremini mushrooms (more if you have them), peeled and chopped
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
3 cups of a mixture of frozen peas and diced carrots
3 cups of diced cooked turkey
2 potatoes, thinly sliced
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tbsp canola oil and saute onion, celery, garlic, mushrooms and thyme until soft.

garlic,onions,celery and mushrooms sauteeing in a panAdd flour and stir for approximately 5 minutes.
Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil.

pouring chicken stock over vegetables cooked with flourReduce to simmer until thickened.
Add turkey, peas and carrots. Salt and pepper to taste.
Pour into a casserole dish.

turkey pot pie filling in casserole dishLayer sliced potatoes over top. Brush with extra virgin olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

sliced potatoes layered over turkey pot pie fillingBake at 400F for 35-40 minutes. Broil to finish browning.

finished turkey pot pie out of the oven

Enjoy!

Dairy,Egg, and Soy Free Turkey Pot Pie with roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts on a plate

Dairy, Egg and Soy Free Turkey Pot Pie was served with roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts. (I put them in for the last 20 minutes or so with the Turkey Pot Pie. I took them out before the broiling)

Tip: Michael and Andy both agreed that there should be more turkey.

P.S. Anyone who knows Matthew, knows vegetables are not his favourite. This dish was not met with much applause on his behalf. To give him credit, he did eat all his turkey and potatoes and tried some carrots…’not bad’ was his verdict. He was much happier indulging in a Brownie!

P.P.S. Michael was over the moon with my Dairy,Egg,Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Butter Tarts. My baking triumph! A recipe I will be sharing.

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Date Squares

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Date Squares are one of my favourite treats to indulge in.

dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free date squares on cake plate

They’re somewhat healthy…right?

My mom’s Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Date Square recipe that I adapted is also my good friend Anne’s favourite. While out in Vancouver on my Girls’ Getaway Trip, I quickly whipped up a batch for our dessert while Anne and Michelle worked on appetizers and dinner.

As the prep and baking was done in haste…I made another batch once at home for pictures…and more indulging!

indulging in a dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut date square

Even Matthew, my chocoholic child, loves them!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Date Squares always accompany us to the cottage. I bake them ahead of time and freeze them. Perfect for transporting as they act as an extra freezer pack for the cooler.

In fact, I do the same with my Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Pies (freeze them and bake from frozen) and Brownies (freeze ahead, thaw and serve). Bringing already made frozen baked goods along eases my workload when I am on holiday.

I also like to save a few Date Squares for the freezer: easy access to quick treats and impromptu indulgences!

One of the reasons I love my Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Date Squares recipe, more than any other, is the use of whole wheat flour with the whole oats. The whole wheat flour increases the nutritional value and richness in flavour. No one ever guesses!

Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Date Squares

dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free date squares on a cake plate

1 pkg (350-375g/2 cups) chopped dates
1/2 cup water
juice of 1 lemon (1/3 cup)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups whole oats (not instant or quick)
11/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup Demerara Sugar (brown sugar)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup canola oil

In a small pot, simmer the dates with the water until softened. About 3-5 minutes.
Take off the heat and stir in lemon juice and sugar. Let cool.

date filling  for dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free date squares cooling

In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking soda and salt.
Mix in canola oil to the dry ingredients until combined and crumbly. (I tend to use my hands for this)

whole oats, whole wheat flour, demerera sugar and canola oil mixture for dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free date squares

Press 2/3’s of the oatmeal mixture in a 8 by 8 glass square dish.

oatmeal mixture for dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free date squares pressed into baking panSpread date mixture evenly over the packed oatmeal.

cooled date filling spread over oatmeal mixture for dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free date squaresPat on the remaining oatmeal mixture.

remaining oatmeal mixture patted on the date filling for dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free date squaresBake at 350 F for 30 minutes.
Let cool on cooling rack.

dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free date squares cooling on rackEnjoy!

dairy, egg, soy and peanut/tree nut free date square on a plate

P.S. I put together a special package of Dairy, Egg, Soy and Peanut/Tree Nut Date Squares for Anne to take home and share with her family. I think she shared them!

What is your favourite treat to indulge in?

Dairy, Sesame, Peanut/Tree Nut Free Granola Bars

Granola Bars are considered a ‘healthy’ go-to snack for kids at school and on the run. dairy, sesame, peanut/tree nut free granola bars on a plateFinding a tasty, yet somewhat, health conscious Dairy, Sesame, Peanut/Tree Nut Granola Bar for my boys to enjoy, led to a dead-end.

As a result, I took it upon myself to try to create our own Ultimate Dairy, Sesame, Peanut/Tree Nut Free Granola Bar! 

My boys only request was that they be chewy and have chocolate chips.

My search led me to Joyful Abode. I liked the basis of her Homemade Granola Bar Recipe. I just tweaked her recipe to meet our specific allergen and taste needs.

A discovery on my own Granola Bar Quest: both my husband and Michael are not Granola Bar fans. 

I needed to enlist my trusty Neighbourhood ‘Guinea Pigs’. They were able to give me many helpful pointers on the various versions of the Granola Bar.

I also tried out a version at Matthew’s Cross-Country Meet. Moms and students were happy to sample my latest creation.

One of the students that tried a Granola Bar at the meet happened to be at my neighbours’ house. When my neighbour brought out my Granola Bars for a snack, the child exclaimed, “Oh, I had one of those at the Cross-Country Meet. They are really good!”

My taste testers all rated my Dairy, Sesame and Peanut/Tree Nut Granola Bars a two thumbs up!

The final Granola Bars are chewy, chocolatey, and crispy, with just the right amount of sweetness and a touch of cinnamon.

Dairy, Sesame and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Granola Bars

rice krispies, oats, vanilla, honey, cinnamon, flax meal and chocolate chips for dairy, sesame,peanut/tree nut free granola bars

2 1/2 cups of whole oats (not instant or quick)
2 1/2 cups of Rice Krispies
1/2 cup flax meal (ground flax seeds)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life)
1/2 cup local honey (MacMillan’s)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Toast oats on a parchment lined baking sheet for 10 – 15 min. Stirring half way.

toasted whole oats on baking sheet with parchment paper for dairy, sesame, peanut/tree nut free granola barsIn a large bowl, combine Rice Krispies, flax meal, cinnamon and toasted oats.

rice krispies, toasted oats, flax meal and cinnamon in a bowl for dairy, sesame,peanut/tree nut free granola barsIn a small saucepan. combine honey, oil, sugar and vanilla.
Heat on medium stirring until it comes to the boil and is nice and frothy.

honey, canola oil, vanilla and sugar brought to a boil and frothy for dairy, sesame, peanut/tree nut free granola barsPour honey mixture over dry ingredients and combine. Stir in chocolate chips.

wet and dry ingredients for dairy,sesame,peanut/tree nut free granola bars mixed together in a bowlSpread mixture in a wax paper lined 9 by 13 baking pan sprayed with canola oil.
(Double the length of the wax paper to line the pan. Have equal parts of wax paper on either side of pan for overlaying on the granola bars.)

pouring mixed ingredients for dairy, sesame, peanut/tree nut free granola bars into a parchment lined baking pan sprayed with canola oilGreat tip from Joyful Abode: Pull the extra wax paper from both sides of the pan to cover the bars and press firmly into the pan.

dairy, sesame, peanut/tree nut free granola bars covered in wax paper and pressed into baking panRefrigerate until firm.
Remove from pan, uncover wax paper and cut into bars.

dairy, sesame,peanut/tree nut free granola bars being cut into barsEnjoy!

Tip 1: For a change, substitute half the Pure Honey for Buckwheat Honey (MacMillan’s). I liked the hint of molasses it gave to the Granola Bars.

Tip 2: When I made a batch without the brown sugar, they seemed to fall apart more. Still tasted great.

Tip 3: Joyful Abode mentions that cooking the honey mixture for longer gives a crisper Granola Bar. Perhaps that is all that is needed when taking out the sugar.

Tip 4: One could substitute dried fruit like raisins or dried cranberries for the chocolate chips. Try 1/2 dried fruit and 1/2 chocolate chips. Yummy!

Always CHECK INGREDIENTS each time you purchase products.

Have you adapted similar recipes for your own food allergy needs? I’d love to hear about them. Please share in the comments!

P.S.  As always, any products I mention in these posts are my own personal recommendations. No one’s paying me to recommend them. They’re just what has worked for our family. Your own needs and preferences may be different!